Summer Exhibition 2016
13 June — 21 August
Now in its 248th year, the Summer Exhibition presents new and recent art created by everyone from emerging artists to the biggest names in contemporary art and architecture. This year’s co-ordinator is Richard Wilson RA, who will be exploring the theme of artistic duos.
David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life
2 July — 2 October 2016
As one of our most anticipated shows of the year, advance booking is essential for both Friends and visitors.
David Hockney returns to the RA with a remarkable new body of work. Embracing portraiture with a renewed creative vigour, he offers an intimate snapshot of the LA art world and the people who have crossed his path over the last two years.
Browse and buy from the Summer Exhibition
With over 1,200 works in the Summer Exhibition, there’s a lot to see. Browse all the works featured in the show online. This year, for the first time, you can also purchase many of the print editions featured in the Summer Exhibition online.
The Summer Circus
Saturday 23 July
Experience a flamboyant and theatrical night of circus-inspired delights, where the surreal world of the Victorian circus meets the RA’s contemporary Summer Exhibition. Wander the Summer Exhibition after-hours as eccentric characters and musicians perform against the backdrop of 1,200 colourful works of art, with street food stalls and cocktail bars open throughout the night.
Bill Jacklin RA: The Graphic Work 1961 – 2016
3 June — 28 August 2016
In the first ever retrospective of Bill Jacklin RA’s graphic work, etchings from the 1960s are shown alongside newly created monotypes.
In the studio with David Hockney RA
David Hockney RA talks to curator Edith Devaney in his Los Angeles studio, ahead of his Royal Academy exhibition, 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life.
Architecture – You Ask the Questions
Brexit, London housing and building diverse communities
In the headline debate for the London Festival of Architecture, our panellists and audience discuss how architecture can be used to bring people together at a time when Britain’s relationship to Europe and the rest of the world is the subject of intense discussion.
Mayfair & St James's Gallery Map
Produced by the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with GalleriesNow.net, this complimentary map highlights the 145 art locations in this historic quarter of London, including 139 commercial galleries, four auction houses and the RA itself.
Seeing double: artist duos in the Summer Exhibition
Artist duos are challenging the concept of individual authorship. Now they are celebrated at this year’s Summer Exhibition. From Jane & Louise Wilson to Jake & Dinos Chapman, we talk to four pairs and ask them how they collaborate.
The act of drawing is at the heart of everything I do. It is the most intimate of processes and at its best reveals both the hand and mind of the artist to the viewer.
Rebecca Salter RA
How I got into the Summer Exhibition
Every year there are around 13,000 public entries to the Summer Exhibition, with about 700 making it through to hang in the galleries. We asked the artists who were selected this year to share their creative secrets.
The moment just before a work is finished, it’s finished. You want a bit of nervous twitching, a bit of tension, in the sculpture.
Richard Wilson RA
24 September 2016 — 2 January 2017
Exploring an unparalleled period in American art, this long-awaited exhibition reveals the full breadth of a movement that will forever be associated with the boundless creative energy of 1950s New York.
10 Mayfair art shows to visit this summer
Over 130 art galleries can be found in Mayfair and St James, along with world-famous auction houses and the Royal Academy of Arts. Visiting each and every one may take some time, but if you’ve a day to spare this summer, try out this winding route from Bond Street to Piccadilly Circus.
Very rarely as an artist do you get that real ecstasy of painting – you are always chasing it.
Chantal Joffe RA
Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932
11 February – 17 April 2017
One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, this powerful exhibition explores one of the most momentous periods in modern world history through the lens of its groundbreaking art.
Thought of Train of Thought: Ron Arad RA
From 7 July 2016
Celebrated sculptor Ron Arad RA presents a monumental steel installation in St Pancras International station, which is now open to the public. It is the second public artwork in a four-year partnership between the RA and St Pancras International.
From Soho to sunshine: the Francis Bacon you never knew
We know him as the doyenne of dingy 1960s Soho. But a major exhibition in Monaco reveals the British painter in a more Mediterranean light, showing how he drew inspiration from the French Riviera. The editor of RA Magazine takes a visit.
The poetry of paint
An interview with Etel Adnan
For Etel Adnan, art world success came late – in her eighties. RA Magazine met the writer and painter in Paris ahead of a major show in London.
A brush with genius
Barry Humphries on sitting for David Hockney RA
David Hockney RA returns to the Academy this summer with his sparkling new series of portraits. Barry Humphries, creator of Dame Edna Everage and friend of the artist, recounts his experience of sitting for a portrait in Hockney's Los Angeles studio.
See it online
A-Level Summer Exhibition Online 2016
13 June — 21 August 2016
Selected from over 2,000 submissions, the A-level Summer Exhibition Online is a showcase of Britain’s best young artistic talent.
Summer Nights at the RA
This season the RA is opening late on Fridays and Saturdays during the run of the Summer Exhibition. Visit one of our shows at night, sample a cocktail from one of our many bars or simply soak up the evening ambience in our Courtyard.
Inside the Academy
Tumblr: From the RA
Discover works from the RA's Collections
We've reached the half-way point on our quest to digitise 10,000 items from the Royal Academy of Arts' vast collections. Visit our Tumblr to discover drawings, sketches, prints, books, oddities and wonders, all revealed by RA staff and a team of volunteers.
Our pick of this week’s art events: 22 – 28 July
From a 'Dazzle' ship that deceives the eye to an exploration of the War on Terror, we guide you through the best of this week’s art events and exhibitions.
David Hockney RA
In celebration of the current exhibition "David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life", take a look back at the astonishing biography of this painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer, photographer and Royal Academician.
Object of the Month: July 2016
Henry Tuke RA's July Sun,1913
We take a closer look at Henry Tuke's brilliant treatment of daylight and the male nude in this aptly-named painting.
‘RA Family Album’ wraps Burlington Gardens
A new artwork by Yinka Shonibare RA wrapping the RA's Burlington Gardens building brings together over 160 images that span the Royal Academy’s 248-year history. The juxtaposition of images reveals the rich tapestry of activity which takes place behind these walls.
Sir Peter Cook RA
Founder of Archigram, knighted for services to architecture and a Royal Academician: Sir Peter Cook's current exhibition "Peter Cook RA: Floating Ideas" is the latest in a long line of artistic accomplishments.
Artist of the Month: July 2016
Dominic Serres, the Elder RA
This month we consider the work of one of the founding members of the Royal Academy, marine painter Dominic Serres.
Peter Cook RA: Floating Ideas
8 June — 2 October 2016
Visionary architect and educator Sir Peter Cook RA creates an installation in the Architecture Space that evokes a world of architectural possibilities through over 60 drawings submitted to the Summer Exhibition from the mid-1960s to the present day.
Shop the new David Hockney RA range
Explore the technicolour tones of our range inspired by the new exhibition, "David Hockney: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life".
Royal Academicians reflect on the new Tate extension
As Tate puts the finishing touches to its monumental new extension, architect Eric Parry RA considers its aesthetic and cultural impact, while painters Gillian Ayres RA and Timothy Hyman RA preview accompanying retrospective shows of Khakhar and O’Keeffe.
Seven tips for starting your own art collection
There are over 1000 works in the Summer Exhibition – and even better, most of them are for sale. So how do you choose? Here are our top tips for buying your first pieces of original art.
Bill Jacklin RA on New York, his home for two decades
No one captures New York quite like Bill Jacklin RA, who moved to the Big Apple in the 1980s and never looked back. Nancy Campbell caught up with him ahead of his show of prints and drawings at the RA.
There is only one rule for aspiring artists. That is, only become one if you have absolutely no choice, if your drive is so strong that nothing else could be contemplated. If you think in terms of worldly success, forget it. The rewards are in the doing and in the breadth of art.
Tess Jaray RA
Watch these spaces: the future of art schools
As Britain’s art schools experience an era of radical change, what do students stand to gain and lose? Anna Coatman explores the past, present and future of art education.
Academicians in Focus
Ken Howard's Switzerland
28 April – 23 October 2016
Inspired by Turner, Ken Howard RA’s en plein air paintings of Switzerland reveal the landscape in a new light.
Debate: Should critics ever savage the work of artists?
Without the contrast to harsh judgements, does praise have any meaning? Or is the role of the critic to simply inform and encourage readers to go and see for themselves? Jonathan Jones and Simon Wilson go head to head. Cast your vote online.
Art Sales at the RA
Celebrating the developments within contemporary printmaking practice including etchings, monoprints, lithographs, woodblocks, silkscreens and three-dimensional digital prints, The Edge of Printing is the fourth in a series of exhibitions presenting limited editions and unique works for sale, online and onsite, by Royal Academicians and other significant contemporary artists.
Architecture is like writing. You have to edit it over and over so it looks effortless.
Zaha Hadid RA
In the studio with Ron Arad RA
There is barely a straight line to be found in the north London studios of artist, designer and architect Ron Arad RA. Fiona Maddocks meets the maverick whose life and art is always on the move.
Sex, death and sculpture: Cathie Pilkington’s Top Shelf
The Royal Academician talks about the “Baccahanalian excess” of her sculptural installation Top Shelf, currently on display above the bar in the Academicians’ Room at the RA.
Listen to RA Podcasts
From short stories read by leading novelists to artists and experts in conversation, catch up on events at the RA with our podcasts.
Courtyard Cinema 2016
This year's screenings include Taxi Driver, Some Like It Hot, Mulholland Drive and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
See it online
Ai Weiwei 360
Ai Weiwei was the cultural phenomenon of the year. If you weren’t lucky enough to see the show, this is your chance to experience it online.
Architecture is a public art, and is never really finished. When a building is completed it’s the beginning of its life – a life which really only starts when people inhabit and breathe life into it. Buildings change, evolve and grow.
Alan Stanton RA
Explore our Collection
The Royal Academy Collections include paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, historic books, (i.e. published before 1921), archives, historic photographs and plaster casts.
Become a Friend of the RA
Free RA Tours
Discover the art, architecture and history of the RA in these special, one-hour tours that include the historic John Madejski Fine Rooms.
Don’t worry what other people say about your work. Be free. That’s what art is about.
Cornelia Parker RA
Learn from experts and artists
Our new programme of short courses and classes offers the opportunity to explore subjects ranging from life drawing to the history of portraiture, led by expert tutors and practising artists.
Inside the Academy
Redeveloping the Royal Academy
For nearly 250 years, the RA has been a place to make, exhibit and debate art. For our anniversary in 2018 we are opening up the RA as never before, transforming our historic buildings – and inviting Friends and visitors old and new to celebrate with us.
Inside the Academy
The RA Schools
A school of contemporary fine art, right at the heart of the RA.
Looking for an art-lover’s gift?
Order bespoke art prints, canvases and framed reproductions from our Collection online.
Join the club
The Academicians’ Room in the Keeper’s House began life in 1883, becoming the favourite haunt of the Academy’s artists as a private members club. The room has entered a new phase in its rich history, and has reopened with a fresh new look by the renowned Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Members can expect artworks by Royal Academicians on display, an exceptional food menu and an exciting programme of events, including an artist-led Salon Series.
Friends of the RA
RA Art Tours Worldwide
These expert-led small-group tours, created by travel specialists Cox & Kings, focus on the art, architecture and archaeology of some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.